HomeMobile EuropeParting shots

    Parting shots


    After five and a half years of using this column to vent my personal opinions on the state of our industry, it is with some regret that I have to inform you that this is my last such rant.  As such it would seem appropriate to take stock and look at just what has been achieved by the mobile communications industry in that time.

    There is little doubt that this has been the most turbulent of times: a period, particularly in the last 24 months, when failure and struggle have been as common as were the rampant stories of success in earlier years. However, as is often the case, the industry is all the stronger for the struggle. Indeed, I believe that despite share values suggesting the contrary, the mobile industry is now in a healthier position than it has been in at any other time in these five fascinating years.

    As an interested, and I hope not completely uniformed observer, I have watched the highs and lows with equal excitement. The razzmatazz of the great satellite communications revolution fizzled out with all the impact of damp fireworks, while the hype of WAP was enough to make even the most optimistic supporter cringe at the credibility gap that it created. On the other hand, SMS has smashed every expectation, prediction or indeed anyone’s wildest dreams. It has set new levels of success to which we can aspire and left us with a number of key lessons particularly about the necessity for predictable and consistent pricing policies.

    It is, however, easy to forget that in the relatively short time I have been with Mobile Europe, the mobile phone has gone from being a status symbol for the young and upwardly mobile (Yuppies, remember them?) to an essential part of daily life for everyone. It is a remarkable achievement which should not be underestimated, nor should it be allowed to be tarnished by the teething problems that have hit the introduction of packet data.

    The mobile communications industry had an incredible childhood; it’s adolescence has been suitably turbulent but now as I hand over the reigns of the magazine, it is about to enter what I believe will be an incredibly rewarding adulthood.

    I hope that in my new role with the GSM Association I will be able to help the Association as it strives to lead the industry to that future.  As for Mobile Europe, I know that it will only go from strength to strength under the guidance of the new editor, Keith Dyer. For the last three years Keith has been editing Communications News, a UK magazine which targets information about voice and data communications at enterprises and prior to this he spent a year as Deputy Editor on Mobile Europe. I could not wish to leave the magazine in safer hands and I’m sure that he can look forward to enjoying the same levels of help and support that I have received from everyone involved in the mobile industry.